By Emily Banks Wooten
The Livingston Volunteer Fire Department will be 107 years old this August. The Livingston Rotary Club learned this when Fire Chief Corky Cochran, Assistant Chief John Haynes and Fire Marshal/Code Enforcement Officer Josh Mohler recently provided the club’s program.
“Our fire department is all volunteers. We have four stations, respond to 600 calls a year. We’re funded by the city, the county, citizens like you and a few grants,” Cochran said.
“We have a great relationship with both the city and the county. The city supports us with our insurance, liability, workers’ comp, our dispatchers, our fire marshal, our uniforms, supplies, fire prevention equipment, rescue equipment, repairs and maintenance, gas and oil, utilities, telephones, fire school, postage, computers and radios. We operate with three engines, two tankers, a heavy rescue truck, three brush trucks and our radio system. The city provides what keeps the wheels going. It’s a great relationship,” Cochran said.
“What makes the difference is citizens like you and the contributions you provide. If you’re not in our area, contribute to the department where you live,” he said.
Haynes spoke about the importance of the department’s training.
“When you join the fire department, the first six months is all training and fire school, more training and the smoke house. We go to A&M fire school every year and we put on a school here ourselves every year. There’s not a better way to learn your trade than to teach someone,” Haynes said.
He talked about new firefighters being issued protective equipment, bunker gear, wildfire gear, radio pagers and a mobile radio and the costs associated with these items.
“When we get a call, the ones closer to the station go and get the truck. The ones closer to the scene go there. We have a business meeting the second Tuesday of each month and other than that, we do drills and training exercises every Tuesday,” Haynes said. “We just purchased a drone that will allow us to do some searches and get up and get a little bit better look at fire scenes.”
Mohler addressed fire prevention and home fire safety.
“One of the biggest tools for home safety is a smoke detector. I cannot emphasize enough how important they are,” Mohler said, adding that working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are a must.
“Another really good tool to have in your toolbox is a simple 2A40BC fire extinguisher. It’s inexpensive, just a small one, basically a five-pound one. If you have one of those and you’re alone when the fire happens that little thing can put the fire out,” Mohler said.
He added that water heaters need about 36 inches of clearance because of the open flame and instructed people not to put their brooms next to it. He also informed the club that open fire is not allowed within the city limits.
“The first one’s on us but the second one’s on you and they will write you a citation,” he said.